Editors’ Notes After a decade’s worth of albums, Cory Branan remains hard to classify—he’s too oddly poetic for country, too small-town and sentimental for indie rock. On his own terms, though, he’s an all-American visionary who tosses off emotional insights and weird flights of fancy with a bleary-eyed nonchalance. Mutt confirms his high stature among today’s singer/songwriters, as well as his stubborn refusal to rein in his genre-blurring sound. His lyrical landscapes are studded with stale cigarettes, bad haircuts, and soiled moonbeams, all used to highlight the damaged love affairs he seems obsessed with. “A heart is a horrid cocoon” he opines in “There, There, Little Heartbreaker,” typical of Mutt’s jaundiced yet tender sense of romance. Branan’s dusty, often half-spoken vocals maintain the album’s focus through a variety of settings, ranging from ‘60s folk (“The Corner”) to roadhouse country (“Karen’s Song”) and gypsy cabaret (“The Snowman”). On “Yesterday,” he makes a credible stab at John Mellencamp–ish heartland rock, even quoting “Jack and Diane” in the process.

SONG
The Corner
1
4:24
 
Survivor Blues
2
3:33
 
Bad Man
3
3:54
 
Darken My Door
4
4:14
 
There There, Little Heartbreaker
5
4:04
 
The Snowman
6
3:39
 
Yesterday (Circa Summer 80 Somethin)
7
4:05
 
Karen's Song
8
3:27
 
The Freefall
9
4:12
 
Jericho
10
3:57
 
Hold Me Down
11
5:22
 
Lily
12
5:30
 
Survivor Blues (The After Hours)
13
4:25
 

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